Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MATCHED Button Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for all those who entered and thanks for your patience!  I was out of town last week and too busy with family to post. 

Jerilynn Packer!

I will contact you via the contact info you provided to get you the buttons! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Three (11)

1) What else could be number on in this YA loving Twihard's day than BREAKING DAWN PART 2!  Me and 167 of my closest friends have rented a theater for a 7:30 showing tonight!  Woot!  I really think from the previews that this will be the best of the movies.  No whiney weak human Bella.  NO confusion as to whom she is in love with (TEAM EDWARD!), and they "fixed" the plot hole of the battle scene (as I gather from the previews).  I'm pretty darn excited!

2) Did I mention I was Team Edward, and I am going to the movie tonight?

3) I also have to admit I'm a little sad it's over.  No more crazy nights out with my friends acting like a 12 year old...oh wait..there's still The Hunger Games!  Long live YA!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Signing Report: REACHED by Ally Condie

Ally talking to the crowd!
Last night I was super excited to attend Ally Condie's launch party and signing for the release of book 3 in the MATCHED trilogy, entitled REACHED.

I am so very excited for this book, for the addition and the conclusion of Cassia's story!  Hopefully I will find the time to read it fast and get my review to you ASAP!  But I wanted to share with you the things that went on at the party, and the Q&A session.

First Ally talked to us for a while and here are the notes I got (please remember these are not all direct quotes.  I try my best to write them down exactly as she said them, but it doesn't always happen.)

Loved the stage set up and the bubble!  See below!
  • I may be really emotional because it's the last book. 
  • The one was special to me because it was the end.  I knew it always would be the end.  Even as it got longer and longer I knew there would not be a split to four books. 
  • Xander gets his time on the page in this one. 
  • Xander is a nice guy.  And writing the nice guy is hard.  The nice guys don't get the credit they deserve.
  • My editor said at one point that it was good go see xander suffer, because the good guys always suffer.
  • Xander is a medical official in this and I don't know a lot about medical things
  • It's that moment when you think "Why am I writing about anything other than stay at home motherhood?"

Ally signing books!
  • But I had two neighbor friends one a pathologist and one an immunobiologist that really helped.  They sent me photos and notes on different diseases.  
  • It got to the point that I thought "what have I gotten myself into?, Have we gone too far?"  Especially when the pathologist sent me his great idea for weaponizing fish.
  • Also Greg Burton a BYU professor who does a lot of work and research with the HIV virus helped me a  lot.
  • So many people help me out.  Like a father of a childhood friend sending me picture after picture of himself holding different fish so I could pick just the one I needed for a scene in the book.
  • There is nothing more exciting to an author than something she's written, something she's put out there being wanted. 
  • Sometimes you write all day just for yourself. 
Then we listened to an audioclip of a part of narration from Xander's point of view, that was pretty much made of awesome.  And she did Q&A.  Here were some of my favorites!

The flowers Ally's husband bought her!

Q: The covers are complex and can mean many things, but what do they mean to you?
A: They are complex and I hope you can see something in them for yourself, but for me when I look at them I mostly see the things we talked about.  That they are the colors of the tablets green, blue and red.  That they symbolize her escape from that bubble.  Oh and by the way the model is the same in all the photographs and she is also the photographer, they are self portraits.

Q: Can you tell us about the movie rights?
A: Disney bought the movie rights and there are screenwriters but no cast yet.  People ask me who I would cast and I say I'm too old to know who would be good now, but I have ideas for the dad.  Like Nathan Fillion.  Nathan Fillion needs to be involved somehow.

Q: Did you know where you were going with the entire story before you started writing?
Me and Ally!
A: Yes and no.  I had a vague outline and plan, but as I write I deviate from that plan quite a bit.  For REACHED I had 150 pages of notes of things that needed to happen, be addressed or wrapped up.  I don't think it's the best method, but it's what I did.

Q: Are you going to write more?
A: Yes I am working on another YA that is set in the future/is a dystopia. But that is all I can say.

Q: When did you know you wanted to write?
A: I was always writing and telling stories but I never could finish.  So in High School I decided to become and English Teacher so I could be surrounded by stories but not wrote my own.  After I was done with teaching for a few years I thought maybe I'll try to finish a book finally, and I haven't stopped since.
Me and my friend Sara B Larson stuck in the bubble!

Q: Do you hand write or type your novels first?
A: I definitely type.  But if I do get blocked I pull out paper and write by hand.  It like restarts my brain.  (MPB note -- I loved this answer and how it ties in with words and writing and how that affects Cassia!)
Me trying to bust out of the bubble.

Q: Are there other creative things you like to do?
A: I'm really bad at everything.  But I say I am a great appreciator.  I love art, but I'm a terrible artist.  I love food, but I hate cooking, etc. So I have a lot of interests, but little talent.

Q: What is the hardest part of the process for you?
A: The hardest part for me is always revision.  But it is also my favorite part because revision is where the story becomes a book.

Q: Other than having your books published, what's the best experience in your life?
A:  By far, having my kids.  Even beyond my books they are the most important thing.

And then as you see we had a great time with the bubble cover photo shoot booth! It was so so cool! 

Ally as ever was WONDERFUL!

And now!  As reward for reading through all of that a surprise giveaway!  Ally also had buttons of the bubble photos on the cover, and I have a set of all three buttons to give away!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book Release Day -- REACHED by Ally Condie

I wanted to shout out today for the book birthday of REACHED by Ally Condie! 

I am super excited to go celebrate with her tonight for her launch party, and to bring you all the scoop and pictures of how fun it will be! 

But for now, go on out to your local bookstore and snatch a copy!  Because really, who wants to wait a month until Christmas to read it?  Not me! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Three (10)

Well that week went fast!  Time to post again! 

1) I just have to say that I love going to the dentist.  I know it causes huge anxiety in some people, and I just don't get it.  I am NOT saying it's not valid.  But for me...I love it!  I especially loved getting my teeth cleaned and how smooth and awesome they feel when it's done.  And I love going and not having any cavities.  ;)

2) Sometimes it is hard for me to post a lot cause some of my reading is reading of my friends' (who are much better authors and dedicated to the craft than I am) manuscripts.  Right now I am about to start one of those, and I'm super excited!

3) I LOVE giving books to my girls.  I want them to love them as much as I do.  There are books scattered around my house in almost every room, and I keep buying more!  I just made a big order for Usborne books for my girls for Christmas and I am so very excited!  I'd love to hear what some of your favorite kids books are!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thursday Three (9)

1) Halloween is perhaps my favorite holiday just behind Christmas.  Why?  Cause it's just amazing fun!  One of my favorite things to do around Halloween is to read a book related to the season.  This year, I got about 5 pages in and then had to take the book back to the library...oops!  But I made it up with lots of picture books.  What are some Halloween-y book suggestions I should put on my list for next year? 

2) I just had to share with you my cute little witches.

3) With Fall comes the release of many anticipated books!  Here are some that I am looking forward to grabbing!

FINALE by Becca Fitspatrick (I know it's out already, but I haven't had a chance to go get it yet!)
REACHED by Ally Condie

What books are you most looking forward to?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Here's my pumpkin this year! 

I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday Three (8)

1) I am DETERMINED to keep this going and be more maybe even every week?  Wouldn't that be novel?  So if you're friends with me nudge me on Wed nights and let me know you look forward to my posts, cause I need to feel the love to feel the inspiration!

2) I am SO giddy that Halloween is coming up next week!  One of the things I do with my girls for any holiday is get a bunch of picture books from the library that are holiday specific.  This year I want to share two of my faves with you in mini-review format!

LITTLE GOBLINS TEN by Pamela Jane , illustrated by Jame Manning
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by HarperCollins
Great Halloween counting book with rhythms and rhymes that allowed my 4 year old to participate in the reading process. Also the illustrations are absolutely adorable!

THE PICKY LITTLE WITCH by Elizabeth Brokamp, illustrated by Marsha Riti
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by Pelican Publishing Company
This was a cute book. Great for Halloween and also your picky little eaters to show them that trying new foods can be a good thing!

3) I cannot believe that it's pretty much the end of October.  Where did this year go?  Wasn't it just yesterday I was making goals for the year, and not that it's October I'm thinking...I am running out of time!  What are some goals you made that you feel like you need to pick up the pace to accomplish?  One of mine is how many books I wanted to read.  Seems like I haven't been reading as much this year, which has resulted in me not blogging as much.  Which has all just made me sad.  Time to pick up the pace and take some more book time and less Facebook time!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Movie Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Last night after book club (which I always love!) a bookie friend of mine and I went to go see The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

Now I have to admit that I have not read the book.  But my friend had, and so wanted to see how the movie adaptation compared.  And from the previews I was also interested in the movie.

Here is the summary from IMDB: An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

That's really tells you nothing about the film.  So here's the scoop.  This movie is not a light fun movie.  It isn't just about an introvert, but about a group of High School kids that are all dealing with some serious life issue stuff.  Things that make them outsiders, or make them feel that way anyway.  

Yes, the main character is a freshman that finds friendship and connects with seniors and NO one else -- except maybe his advanced placement English teacher.  He doesn't even seem to fit in his family.  But it is about so much more.  It is touching, it is tough, and it is also real. 

Here's a link to a pretty great clip in the movie:

Although I wouldn't give it a top picks rating simply because it's not a movie I would own and watch over and over, but I would give it a Reaching New Heights because of how well done I felt it was.

One perk of "Perks" is that the screenplay was also written by the author.  So the story held true to the characters and plot of the novel.

I think the acting in this movie was pretty darn superb. Each and every character down to the minor ones were completely believeable in their own personal journeys.  It was really quite refreshing to see.

So if you are in the mood for something that will make you think about hard things this one is for you.  Just a warning for my readers -- cause I think I know many of you well this movie deals with some adult themes with regards to sexuality pretty much on all levels.  But the movie itself is not explicitly sexual and does a good job of letting you know what's going on/has happened without showing too much.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ARC Tour Review: EVERBOUND by Brodi Ashton

by Brodi Ashton
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 22nd 2013 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins  

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!  

Summary: (from the back cover of the ARC)
Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen--and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to the heart of the Everneath.  

I have been SUPER lucky enough to participate in a local ARC review tour for local author Brodi Ashton's EVERBOUND, book 2 in the Everneath trilogy!

 For those who don't know an ARC tour like this sets up a chain of local authors and bloggers to pass around one copy of the ARC to review it! It's so fun because we all leave notes in the book for Brodi, and in the end she gets it back with all of our little notes to her. So cool, right!?

Well, I was so lucky to be first on the list, and I dove right into this amazing novel. Brodi Ashton has done it again! Her writing is so smooth and honest that I fly right through her books. The pace just never stops, and even when you think you can catch a moment, or a breath, don't worry, there's something new up ahead that you didn't expect.

Nikki's story in this book is a story of fighting to get Jack back. And we see a lot more of her relationship with Jack and come to love them as a couple so much more. But don't leave Cole out. Could he possibly have true feelings and good intentions?

This is no sloppy middle book. EVERBOUND is a page-turning story that will hold your heart and make you ask, what would you do for the ones you love?

If you have not read EVERNEATH yet, go to the bookstore now, in just a few short months we will have EVERBOUND to add to our shelves, and this is one I certainly will be buying!

And for those DYING for more -- a novella NEVERFALL will be released also sometime in January e-book only, but a short story from Cole's perspective post EVERNEATH. I am DYING to read this one too, especially after reading EVERBOUND! Here's the gorgeous cover for that!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy October!

I sure have let life get away with me and this blog has suffered.  I appologize!  Next week is going to be Shannon Hale week!  If you love her, or have never read her stuff, come on over and check out my September month that was very Shannon Hale centered book-wise!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Movie Review: The Words

The poster for the movie
Okay, I know this is not a movie review site, but, I have been having a hard time posting on here and after my experience last night at the movie THE WORDS I really wanted to share it with my readers!

So back in the spring when they hold the annual Sundance Festival up here in Utah I was looking at pictures from the events.  I don't usually care much about the films because they are usually more racy or more artsy than I generally would watch.  But, I like me some fun celeb pictures and knowing who is here so close to home.

That's when I saw him!  My big celeb crush Ben Barnes (ie-- Prince Caspian).  Brittish cutie extraordinare!  And then I thought WHY DID I NOT DRIVE UP THERE TO STALK (I mean take pictures of or have a chance to see) HIM!?  Okay, I'm not that crazy -- I grew up in CA and saw celebrities fairly often and never freaked out over one.  I even served Jared Letto and Cameron Diaz ice cream once.

Ben at a red carpet for the Words, and a pic of him from the film.  Mmmm.
But the point was back then I had to see...why was he there?  Was he in a film?  And there it was on IMDB, THE WORDS.  Looked like a pretty good cast and it was getting great reviews at Sundance.  AND it was rated PG-13 so most likely I'd be okay with the content.  Cool!

I had to wait till now to actually see it. 

From the non-artsy community it is getting mixed reviews.  It is certainly not a blockbuster rom-com or even the standard commercial drama. Many people don't like the open ended ending, saying it's unfinished or felt that way.

Honestly, I think that was the point.

Those of us who are book lovers, and know anything about the publishing industry, I think will VERY much appreciate this film.  I connected to almost all 3 stories (yes, it is a story within a story within a story!).  And yet the one rooted deepest in fiction -- the Jeremy Irons as old man and Ben Barnes as young man -- was the one that I connected with the most.  I don't think that was a coincidence. 

It was an at times heart wrenching story of love, the love of words, and life.

Personally, I loved it. 

So there ya go.  A movie review to get me thinking that I need to neglect my book blog less now that my older daughter is back in school and baby girl is still napping.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

TRANSCENDENCE Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all those who took the time to enter!  The winner of our ARC of TRANSCENDENCE by C.J. Omolulu is:



Friday, August 10, 2012

Review and Giveaway: TRANSCENDENCE

by C.J. Omololu
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Walker & Company

Placement in the Pile: Middle of the Stack

Summary: When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both. Full of danger, romance, and intrigue,

Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?

Review: First of all I have to apologize that it took me so long to get this review up. Between family vacations, sick kids, Olympics and many other things It took me longer to read it than I wanted. Part of that was, although for me the book was enjoyable it didn't hold my attention and make me want to read without stopping.

The premise is very interesting and was a unique read for me. I've never read a book about reincarnation. Some aspects were interesting, others predictable. I liked Cole and Griffon. Laughed out loud at times. Disagreed with some of the "rules" of the reincarnation but understood why it was the way it was in the end.

In the end I enjoyed it and I now am actually more interested in the plot of book 2 than I am book one. So don't let my lower score trick you. I do want to read the next one!

And now because I was so lacking how about a giveaway to pick up the pace of the blog shall we? Plus, the beginning of this book tales place in London, perfect for Olympic fever!  Just comment on this review and fill out the information below to enter!

US and Canada mailing addresses only.  Contest will be open until 11:59 pm Wed Aug. 15th!  Good Luck!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Signing with Kiersten White

I was very excited to go to my first book signing in a long time.  I miss going, seeing the crowd, feeling the energy supporting the authors.  It has been far too long since I've been able to attend an event.

I love how much expression she uses.  I really do.  She's so fun to hear talk!

 And I am so happy that the event I was able to go to was for Kiersten White!  Book three in the Paranormalcy series, ENDLESSLY, came out on Tuesday and she did her signing here in Utah on Thursday night.  We are so lucky to have her come here to Utah!

She was saying something about 5...I don't remember what but it was the best shot I got of her whole face!
I missed  much of what she said because I was running late, but I did catch the Q&A.  It was pretty awesome.
Signing my book!

Here's what I learned:

Keirsten and Me!
  1. Kiersten likes Pinky Pie because she weaponized her confetti cannon.
  2. Natalie Whipple, critique partner and best friend (and author who's book is being published next year) of Kiersten kinda hated Kiersten in High School because Kiersten wrote a mean article about the prom decorations that Natalie had been in charge of.  Don't worry, they love each other now!
  3. Movie rights have been sold for the Paranormalcy series, but Kiersten thinks (and come to think of it, I agree!) that it would make a better TV series.
  4. Steve the vampire/poultergeist is named after a blog follower from England.
  5. Fans of Kiersten's will not have to wait long for more from her!  She will be publishing two books a year from now on out for a while!  
  6. (well this I already knew) Kiersten is adorable, so kind and just made of awesome.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Me: AKA The Worst Blogger Ever

Hi all!  I just wanted you to know that I did not fall off the edge of the world.  I am still here.  Life has just been crazy, we were finishing our basement, having end of the school year stuff with the kids, a family vacation and reunion, sick kids, etc. 

I just wanted you to all know I am still here, and I am still trying to get reading done so I can bring you great reviews and even giveaways! 

Thanks for being patient with me!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: TEMEPST UNLEASHED by Tracy Deebs

by Tracy Deebs
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 5th 2012 by Walker Childrens
Placement in the Pile:  Reaching New Heights (Almost got Middle of the Stack...)

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Okay, so there was so much that was done right about this book.  Seeing more of the underwater worlds and how Tempest struggled to fit in there, the action was always going on, there was tension among characters that really stepped them all up to the next level.  It was an entertaining read.

Why did I want to give it a "middle of the stack" rating?  Well simply because I think she chose the wrong guy.  And her reasons for choosing him were not shown through the book the way it should have been.  In fact when Tempest narrated her reason I went, "Huh.  Cause I thought you said the exact opposite about them earlier in the story." 

But, in light of not giving anything away I can't tell you who my fave guy is.  So you're going to have to figure that out.

So why did I give it a "Reaching New Heights" status?  Because despite the crappy love triangle, I think this next installment in Tempest's story was more compelling and action packed.  I loved the fights that Tempest had to go through and the raw emotions that came out of me reading her struggles -- real tears people!

I've admitted before that I've never read mermaid books before, so I can't say how it compares in uniqueness, but so far, I'm a fan of Tempest's stories.  And I hope there is going to be more -- and maybe a change of heart?  ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: ENDURE by Carrie Jones

by Carrie Jones
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA 
Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights
Zara is at the center of an all-out war, and an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Bedford is being ravaged by evil pixies and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends, she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king…Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.

This is book 4 and the ending to the NEED series.  It is the culmination of Zara's struggles with evil pixies, and with being a pixie.

I don't want to say a lot about what made me love it because I don't want to give anything away.  But I think it was a great culmination to her story.  The characters in this book felt like they came full circle.  I even didn't hate Nick as much as I did in previous books.  There were moments I laughed, moments I cried.  This was a great end to the series.

If you're a fan of Zara's story you definitely need to remember to grab this last installment!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Musing...

I was thinking today. 

I've never read a Meg Cabbot novel.

Does that mean I can truly be a YA fan?  What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Book Release Day!

I am sure there have been and will be many book releases that I miss.  Ex. I know recently BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore came out, and INSURGENT by Veronica Roth recently came out to name a few.  There are so many fabulous books out there, so I celebrate all books and all those that I've missed.

But today, there is a book release I am particularly excited about! 

ENDURE by Carrie Jones!

ENDURE is the end of a series that began with NEED, the story of Zara and her entanglements with not so kind pixies.  The story has evolved and I just can't wait to see what happens next!  (Plus isn't the cover just beautiful!)

Have you read them?  Are you excited?

Team Astley!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Three (7)

1) What are things that distract you from reading?  I've been very distracted lately, taking care of my girls, cleaning my house, dental work, but mostly it's been the computer.  The computer sucks up so much of my time, but I can't seem to get myself away from it for long.  Any tips?

2) This weekend starts a series of several amazing writer's workshops in Utah.  Tomorrow starts LDS Storymakers, then there's Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers in June, a Children's Book Symposium at BYU in July.  So many things that I wish I could go to this year, that I wish I had been dedicated enough to write enough to make it worth while.  I absolutely love conferences.  I almost want to write just so I can justify going!

3) It is true that the book publishing world is changing very quickly.  Traditional publishing is slowing down, independent is speeding up, and for the book blogger it's getting harder to get paper copies of ARCs to read.  I think I need an e-reader just so I can keep getting my Advance Copies!  So...nook vs. kindle?  What do you think?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi

by Tahereh Mafi
, 352 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Harper/HarperCollins

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights (ALMOST top picks)

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


I really enjoyed this book. I thought Juliette's voice was spot on for someone who had lived her life basically untouched, and who suffered the lack of love in her past. She was on the border of crazy, and yet she made the most sense of all of the characters in the novel. The world was crazy.

At first I wasn't sure about the crossed out words. But in the end I thought it was a super unique writing style that gave you insight to the way we all not only edit what we say, but we edit our thoughts. It made Juliette even MORE real for me.

And I really connected to the romantic storyline, and her struggle to become free.

That all being said, the end was kind of a disappointment for me. All of a sudden this really unique girl in this dystopian world turned into a girl that's just one of many in a sci-fi world and gives us no closure at all.

However it's worth reading. It's a great book, and I'll try the second to see where it's going, even though it's going to be a totally different book to me.

Thursday Three (6)

1) I need an MP3 player. My problem I hate earbuds. They HURT my ears physically make them ache. I've always had issues with this. I prefer standard earphones. But it sure would have been nice today at the dentist sitting in the chair for 2 hours to be listening to a book rather than my tooth being worked on.

2) I am missing my bookclub tonight and I am SO sad. There is something about a few hours with these awesome women talking about our favorite subject (books) and eating yummy treats that rejuvinates me each month!

3) If you've won a book from me recently know that I have NOT forgotten you. Life has been insane. If my mouth isn't pounding in pain tomorrow I plan on going to the post office to get them out to you! Do you ever have chores that need doing that just take forever to get to? Yeah. That's me right now with everything!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Three (5)

1) So here's one reason why I read more YA than adult fiction. Length. With so many books out there to read I prefer reading books that I can get through in a couple of days rather than a book twice or even three times as long that takes me a lot longer.

I know there are long YA's out there, and there are definitely some shorter adult fiction. But this is just one thing that generally pulls me away for adult books.

2) Reading on the computer gives me a headache. I really don't like it. I've heard Kindles and Nooks are better than a computer screen, but I still prefer paper. I love the feel of a book in my hand. The smell of the ink and the pages. I've always wanted a library in my home, and not one on a hard drive.

What do you think? If you have an e-reader has it changed your mind?

3) Unlike most bloggers out there I never said what I thought of The Hunger Games movie on here. So here is my short review! I loved it. I thought it was very well done. Were there issues? Yes. But overall I thought it was excellent.

And while we're talking about books turned into movies. I was so excited about a movie for Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST, but I just can't get into it yet. I don't like the casting for Melanie at all.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

GoodReads, Independent Book Blogger Awards!

Hey everyone! I know I'm a little crazy, but I've decided to enter the GoodReads Independent Book Blogger Award contest to see if I can win a trip to BEA (Book Expo America)! It's been a DREAM of mine to go, and it would allow me to get some really awesome early books to review for you and to do some really great giveaways and posts!

So check it out, and please spread the word. We're a small blog, but this would be a dream come true!

Independent Book Blogger Awards

Vote for this blog for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!


Voting is open now until Monday, April 23 at 11:59pm ET!

Monday, April 9, 2012

EDENBROOKE Giveaway Winner!

I hope you all had a great weekend, whether you celebrate Easter or not. ;)

Today the festivities continue at our house with my daughter's 4th birthday. So I'm gonna make this quick.

Deb Cushman!

I will get the book in the mail sometime this week! Congrats. And for those of you who didn't win, EDENBROOKE can be purchased online, at all Utah Costcos, and Barnes and Noble everywhere (if it's not in stock they'll order it in for you!)


Friday, April 6, 2012


Today's the last day to enter the Edebrooke giveaway. And the first day of the last year of my 20's. Where did the time go?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Edenbrooke Giveaway!

Wow, I am queen slacker this week. SO sorry! But good things come to those who wait!

I have a signed ARC copy of EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson to give away! I am very excited about this as it's a smaller publisher and I want you all to have a chance to read it! BTW you can order it online, get it at Deseret Bookstore and Seagull Book, all Utah Costcos carry it, and Barnes and Nobles everywhere carry it! So go find it! You will love me!

Just fill out the form below. USA and Canada mailing addresses only please. The contest will be open until my birthday, April 6th! 11:59 pm EST.

P.S. you're all slackers with me too. I was going to give all of you 2 extra entries if you commented on Julie's guest post(I mean Julianne...I know her as Julie!) but none of you did although I know you read it. Next time! ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dark Divine Giveaway Winners!

Sorry this took me so long. Life has been crazy busy. I hope you enjoyed my posts about Edenbrooke. I saw a lady purchase it at our local costco and I just had to rave about it to her!

But this is about Dark Divine! Which you all know how much I love Bree and the series! 2 lucky winners will receive the whole trilogy from the publisher! So with no further adieu and the help of our winners are...

Christina Kit!

Thanks for everyone who entered! Come back tomorrow for yet ANOTHER giveaway! Yeah this is a crazy giveaway month!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post by Julianne Donaldson: A Day in the Life of a Romance Writer

There is so much to post about! I should have posted this yesterday but got busy with a certain movie premiere! Which I will post about later. Then there's the winner to find for the Dark Divine giveaway! But I wanted you to all read this fabulous post. If you comment you might just be happy that you did tomorrow. Just sayin.

Julianne is the author of EDENBROOKE, a new regency romance that came out early last week. Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Edenbrooke is her first novel. You can find more about here at her website HERE.

8:00 a.m. I awake suddenly, look at the alarm clock, and try not to swear. I shouldn't have stayed up so late last night reading that book! Now the kids will be late to school unless some morning miracle happens.

8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Chaos. Three kids to feed, dress, and get ready for school. Papers have to be signed and returned (why can I never find a pen?), shoes have to be found (have you looked in your room? by the front door? in the car?), backpacks packed and hair and teeth brushed. Finally, the front door is slammed, and it's just me, my three-year-old, and my dog. Oops! Forgot to let the dog out. Clean up the pee on the carpet. And on with the day.

10:00 - 12:00. It's Tuesday, so my three-year-old goes to my neighbor's house, where he plays with friends while I get some computer time. The first hour is spent answering emails, posting on my blog, and corresponding with my agent and publisher. The second hour I sit down, take a deep breath, and try to enter the world of romance and history. The dog barks. The doorbell rings. Someone calls to chat. I look at the clock. Fifteen minutes of writing time left! I scramble to reach my goal of 800 words. It's all a mess, but there might be some gems in there I can use.

12:00 - 3:30 p.m. I pick up my three-year-old, give him lunch, and we spend the afternoon cleaning the house, doing laundry, watching PBS, and playing with Legos. Don't forget to let the dog out!

3:30 - 6:30 p.m. The older kids come home, with friends, until the house is overrun with at least ten kids. There's homework, snacks, after-school activities (it's time to go to gymnastics! do you have your scout uniform? get in the car, everyone! hurry, we're late!), dinner prep, and drama.

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Husband comes home, we eat dinner, finish homework, run to basketball games, pick up from gymnastics, juggle church meetings, and in general act like chickens with our heads cut off. Finally the kids are in their beds (but not necessarily asleep).

8:30 - 10:30 p.m. It's time to unwind and spend some time with my husband. Dishes are optional, as is folding laundry. We like to sit on the couch together. He surfs the TV while I do research on my laptop. This is not writing time--I can't write with the TV on and kids coming downstairs (i'm thirsty. i can't go to sleep. everyone's talking and keeping me up. what's the deadliest insect in utah?). But I research the historical aspect of my books, look up photos of England, catch up on blogs I follow, email, write blog posts, etc.

10:30 - midnight or later. My time. I will pick up a good book or sit and dream of my own book. Late-night writing, if I'm not too tired, can be my favorite kind. As I drift off to sleep, I imagine my heroine falling in love, I dream of smoky looks and passionate love letters. I jump up to jot down a phrase or two, but all too soon the day has worn me out. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get more writing done.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson

by Julianne Donaldson
Paperback, 240 pages
Published: March 27th 2012 by Shadow Mountain

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

From page one I was drawn into Marianne's world. Each character was vivid and real. I was pulled into the world of Regency England where rules are strict, women are limited, love was pure and things are not always what they seem. Marianne certainly has to deal with all of this. And she is unfortunate enough to be a free spirit limited by her circumstances.

I devoured this novel and found myself dreaming about living in that it's England, my favorite place I've ever visited! This book is truly a "proper romance". My heart soared with the joys, and was pulled by the tensions of the situations that Marianne finds herself.

Fans of Jane Austen will fall in love with this new look into the life of a spirited young woman constricted by the world, searching for her place, and finding love.

I very much look forward to more from Julianne Donaldson!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Interview and Giveaway! Bree Despain

So when I was reading my ARC of THE SAVAGE GRACE I knew I had to do an interview with Bree for all of you. I was just loving this book so much and wanted to ask her some questions about her whole experience with it. So, here's the interview, and at the end a FABULOUS giveaway!

1) How was it writing the end of Grace and Daniel's story? How was it different from writing the other books?

I was surprised at how hard it was to write the end of the story. In fact, I kept turning in the manuscript without the last two chapters--because I couldn't bring myself to write "the end." I have to admit that I teared up a bit when I did, but it also feels really good to have brought the story full circle. Third books in a trilogy are challenging to write because there is SO MUCH going on that needs to finally be pulled together in a satisfactory way. I didn't want to drop the ball on the third book and leave a bad taste in readers mouths about the series as a whole. That's pressure!

2) The end of the book is complete, but of course the characters will go on with their lives. Are there any plans for another book or short story in the future?

I heard a famous author say once that the end of the book should feel like "just the beginning" for your readers to imagine in their own heads what happens to the characters after that. I really wanted to capture that feeling with the ending of this series. Right now, I have no plans for more books in the TDD world--but I'm not going to say "never." I do see myself possibly doing a couple of short stories just for fun.

3) The Savage Grace is my favorite book in the series. Do you have a favorite?

I love all the books for different reasons, but I think the first one, THE DARK DIVINE, will always have a very special place in my heart. It's the one that I wrote for myself and poured so much my heart into--without knowing if it would ever be published or if anyone other than my family would ever read it. However, I think TSG is probably the most fun for me to read--it really pushed my plotting and action-writing skills to the limit.

4) Is there anything about your writing process that is an absolute must for you? A quiet location? A certain snack?

Chocolate! I always have a little bowl of dark chocolate chips at my side while I write. Over the summer, I went on a really strict diet that didn't allow me any sugar (or chocolate!) for about a month. I was surprised that my writing productivity went way up during that month. But when I got my revisions back from my editor, I ended up having to rewrite almost every single sentence I'd written during my choclate-free-month. It may not be a very scientific conclusion, but that was enough for me to never try writing without chocolate again!

5) What is your favorite read lately?

My three favorite reads as of late: WHITE CAT by Holly Back, EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton, and UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi.

6) What are you working on now?

I'm working on a new book that is slated for publication in Fall 2013. I don't know what I'm allowed to say about it yet, but I can tell you that it's a story I started before THE DARK DIVINE was published, and I am so excited to be working on it again!

and for my own knowledge... 7) How do you pronounce Sirhan?

I pronounce it Sir-han. Like "Sir" (as in, "Yes, Sir!") and "Han" (as in, "Han Solo" or "rhymes with "on"). But really, any way you want to pronounce it is fine by me.

Totally random tidbit about how I came up with that name: I found an old Life Magazine from 1969 in my Grandmother's house. The cover story was about a man named "Sirhan Sirhan" who had just been convicted for assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The article said that "Sirhan" means "wolf" and I decided to use it for the name of the formidable leader of the largest werewolf pack. The character's full name "Sirhan Etlu" means "Wolf Warrior."

Thanks so much Bree! It was a blast as always! NOW it's giveaway time! I am so ridiculously excited about this! The publisher has offered to give not just ONE but TWO of you the ENTIRE Dark Divine Trilogy!!!!!!

Just comment about Bree's interview, and fill out the form below! It's that easy!

Contest will be open just until Wed, March 21, 11:59 pm EST. So get on it!

Oh and P.S. Happy St. Patrick's day!

**The contest is USA mailing addresses only. Sorry for the inconvenience. I should have specified earlier.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Signing Report: Bree Despain!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the launch party and book signing at The King's English in Salt Lake City for THE SAVAGE GRACE, book 3 in the Dark Divine Trilogy.

It was so great to see Bree again and celebrate this awesome book! Here's some pics and highlights from her presentation entitled "The End".

*Once again I am just going to type my notes as I wrote them as Bree said this is paraphrased Bree. ;)

  • Sequels are hard. The Lost Saint, I affectionately refer to as the book that ate my soul. But the third book has to be easier to write, right? Heh. heh. Yeah right.
  • You spend your writing career learning how to write a first book, that took me 10 years. No one teaches you how to write a second or third book
  • At times this book had beasty claws, fangs and got very bloodthirsty around the full moon
  • One obstacle was there are so many strings that need to be tied up in the final book, things you have to complete
  • Also third books have a lot more climax, 2/3rds of the book is climax
  • All the characters you've introduced, not just the main ones, have to have their stories come full circle. Some will fail at thier goals, some will succeed, some will even die.

  • The hardest obstacle to overcome in writing this book was saying goodbye. When I typed the last words from book 3 I would be saying goodbye to charcters that had been talking to me since a dark cold night in January so long ago.
  • I put off writing the end. I kept turning in drafts without the last few chapters
  • Well I finally turned a draft in, still without the last few chapters and my Editor said "I love the ending!" But that freaked me out, that's not the end! I said. He told me they were already doing copy edits and were going to print in 2 days.
  • So i had one night to write that perfect ending, to say goodbye
  • what I finally had to do was force myself to stop thinking about what the perfect ending would be, and just write what felt true for the characters.

  • When I finished
    my husband bought me not just one kitten, but two! We call them the kittens Divine. Merlin is black and Avalon is grey.
Then Bree read from the book a little, and did some giveaways thanks to winners from a fairly hard trivia! I was shooting myself for not remembering a few of them since I had JUST read TSG not that long ago. She gave away some of the awesome Dark Divine Jewelry and some of the nailpolish with pedicure supplies, and then one person got her food of choice for writing, chocolate covered cinnamon bears.

It was so wonderful to see Bree again! I just love her smiling face, I love how much she cares about her readers, and especially I love her books. She's such an inspiration!

Alright, so that being said, come back tomorrow to see what Bree had to say for my interview with her! And there just might be something super super awesome posted along with that interview. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: THE SAVAGE GRACE by Bree Despain

by Bree Despain
Hardcover 496 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by EgmontUSA (Yes folks, that's TODAY!)

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It was the perfect conclusion to the series. It is a long book yes, but it never feels that way. The action just keeps building and building and building. Unlike another very popular book series, you will not feel like the final "battle" scenes are a let down. No, this book was everything it should have been, and more.

There is not a lot I can or want to say about content because I don't want to spoil it. But I will say that the romantics won't be disappointed, the action fans won't be disappointed. I laughed, I literally cried. I was surprised by some twists, not as surprised by others, but that was okay. I loved and hated characters in a way that made me really care about the book. I was worried a bit about the title and what it would mean (which you don't get till the very end!) In the end I was 100% satisfied with the story, but it still left room for me to think of the characters in the future.

Bree Despain, you recaptured my heart! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into this one, cause it was my favorite of the series!

**Be SURE to come back often this week! I am having a "Divine" week here on the blog! We will be having an interview with Bree, a report of her book launch party tonight, and an AWESOME giveaway you won't want to miss!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Three (4)

1) I adore our library system. It had a large system of books available for their hold system. One thing I did the other day was put a bunch of St. Patrick's day books to read with my daughter on hold. And many of them have come in! I love reading books with my girls. I hope they learn to love reading as much as I do!

2) I'm just not ready to go to bed if I haven't read for a few minutes. It's my wind down time...sometimes. Sometimes a book grabs me and keeps me up. But a lot of the time I read a little and it helps my mind go to another world and not worry about what's going on in real life.

When is your favorite time to read?

3) Next week is going to be "Divine". In so so many ways! Be sure to check it out all week, not just Thursday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Everneath and Supernaturally Giveaway Winners!

As usual I want to thank you all for reading my blog and entering the giveaway. I have lots more giveaways this month so please don't fret if you didn't win this one!

Our two lucky winners are:

Erin Thain: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton


Maegan Langer: SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White

It just worked out that you both got your first pick! So that's nice!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Surprise Giveaway!

Okay, so you know how I've been a blogger slacker. And I am truly sorry. So, lucky for you, when I feel guilty I want to give away books! :)

So for you lucky readers who have stuck with me all this time, and any new folks that come my way this week here's an awesome giveaway!

Paranormal Prizes!

There will be two winners!! The first place winner will have their pick of:
EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (signed hardcover)!
SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White (signed hardcover)!

Then each will also receive some bookmarks and the like that I've received from various YA authors!

First, one reason why I am doing the giveaway was I finally caught Brodi at a book signing. I was SO sad to miss her launch because of sick kids, but here's a couple of pictures from that.

Brodi signing one of you lucky duck's book!

Brodi and me. She is such an amazing kind person. So glad she knows who I am! Makes me feel special.

Now, to make two of YOU feel special for winning! Just enter below!

Contest open until 11:59 pm EST on Monday March 5th! USA and Canada mailing addresses only.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Three (3)

Sorry I've been MIA again! Life has been nuts! Here's what's going on for me in the book world.

1) I always ALWAYS have more to read than I have time for. How do you do it? How do you choose between all the fabulous books on your shelf, at the library, and new in the store?

2) I got an unexpected and completely AWESOME ARC in the mail last week. I'm almost done reading it and will hopefully have some time to bring you a review and maybe interview next week! March is going to be a big book month. Is there a book coming out in March that is on your list?

3) I was able to go to some fun book signings a few weeks ago. I still need to get the pics from my friend. But it was so fun to talk to authors and get signed books and talk to local authors. I wish I had the money to buy them all...but then there's that time problem too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mini Reviews

I wanted to post a few quick mini-reviews of books I've read for book club:

by Mark Dunn

Placement in the Pile: Middle of the Stack

Review: This was an interesting read. A little silly in concept of a made up country and how crazy it got politically in such a short time, all because of some letters falling off a monument. It led to some good discussions however.

by Patrick Carman

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights

Review: A great first book to a great series. A middle grade level so it's a fast easy read with some fun characters and mysterious plots. If you're looking for a good series to read but don't have a lot of time to spend on huge books, this one is worth a try! I like books 2 and 3 even more!

What are you reading for book club? What do you think makes a good book club book?

And coming soon some pretty awesome stuff! I promise!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Three (2)

1) This week I have been re-reading a book I read a long time ago. I don't re-read books often because there are always so many great ones I haven't read yet. But I do re-read occasionally. It is interesting to me what a new experience a book can be each time you return to it.

Do you find you like books more or less with a re-read?

For me it is a mix. Sometimes I relate to things or see things I didn't before, and that's exciting. Other times I am more critical of the author's style etc. because I have grown, learned more about writing etc.

2) Do you book club? I book club. One of my favorite things about book club is reading books I wouldn't have picked up. Not necisarrily because I think it's a bad book, but just because it's not on my immediate to read list. I also love book club discussions. It reminds me of being back in school in English classes.

What are some of your favorite book club books?

3) Who's excited for the Hunger Games Movie!? I sure am! I am working on getting an early showing (Thursday night) theater with a ton of friends. Right now we're up to 134 people! I cry every time I see the trailer. "I Volunteer!" Be still my heart! Just because I am so excited about it, here's the trailer for your viewing pleasure.

Happy Reading.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Launch Tonight!

Hey folks!

I want to advertise for all local peeps and distant peeps that today is the book launch for my FAVORITE read of last year (but it comes out today!), EVERNEAT by Brodi Ashton!

You can read my review HERE and my interview with the awesome Brodi HERE.

I unfortunately will not be making it to the book launch so I can't do one of my super fun book signing posts. But hopefully I will catch her another time. And can share that with you. But for your viewing pleasure here is the book trailer.

So local peeps go to The King's English tonight at 7 for an awesome launch, and everyone go to your local bookstore and get this book!

Congrats on your launch Brodi!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Feature: Thursday Three (1)

Hey all!

So one of my goals this year is to get this blog more active again. One way I want to do that is by doing a Thursday Three! Lots of blogs do Friday Fives, but I thought this was more doable for me. So I'll post 3 things going on with me in relation to reading/writing. I'd love your thoughts and responses!

1) I have been thinking a lot about why I read YA so much more than any other genre. And I think in the end for me, it's cause it's just good stuff. For me I like to read to escape into a world that is not my own. Whether that's contemporary and someone else's experiences that open my world view, or a fantasy world that I can just jump into wholeheartedly. I love YA because I can always count on a great story.

Why do you love YA?

2) Some books read fast for me, some read slow. It doesn't make one better than the other. Sometimes I just need more time away from a story to process it. Other times I just want to find out what happens so I can't put it down. Which do I like better? Depends on my mood.

3) I've been trying to write more and that's a kinda scary thing for me. I love books and the book world, and I LOVE writing and the writing community around me. But I don't have super thick skin, and I felt a little hurt once. So it's taken me a long time to get back into it. It was absolutely no fault of anyone other than me needing to take time away from my writing. Maybe someday a blogger will be reviewing my stuff! I doubt it. I'm not dedicated enough to the process of writing and editing...I kinda hate editing. But it's a cool thought. ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick


by Becca Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

First I have to say that's not a very good summary of the book that was on Goodreads, but there it is... Here's my summary:

Nora finds herself alone and unsure of herself when she is told that she not only has amnesia that goes back 5 months, but has been gone, abducted for the last 11 weeks of her life. Desperate to remember who she is, she becomes tangled in a world that she no longer remembers exists, all while trying to figure out who she can trust, who is lying, and why she keeps having dreams about a boy with black eyes.

Can Nora and Patch's love survive her not remembering? Will she find out who abducted her and why?

Okay, that sounds better. Gives you a little but of understanding of what this book is about without giving anything away.

That being said, many of you know how much I enjoy these books. I like the bad boy nature of Patch, and I like the overall plotlines. There's characters you love, and characters you love to hate.

Even better the plot of this book and Becca's smooth writing kept me reading. I read this book in about 4 sessions of sitting down and reading -- I just couldn't put it down and it flowed so well it went fast. It's exactly what I needed. Intrigue a good plot, some awesome romance thrown in.

Now that being said there is a possessive nature about Patch and the things he says to Nora. I understand some readers criticize this and say "what a horrible message to teenage girls." But here's my view: I am not reading and reviewing for what a teenage girl might think of a book. I am reading and reviewing for ME. How did I like the book? How did it affect me? Am I smart enough to know that when Patch says, "You're mine Angel." that it's not an abusive I'm going to lock you up and abuse you sort of love? Well, yes, I am. So he doesn't bug me at all, in fact I like that he loves Nora so much that he feels not only possessive of her, but that he belongs to and with her.

If you like this series and haven't read this one yet, do! If you need a good read, pick up the series. For fans of paranormal romance, these will definitely become a fave.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Poll: What Should I read Next?

One of my goals this year is to be more on top of reading the books I already own. That might not make for the best reviews, but hey, I will read new ones too! Here is what is on my list right now, and I thought I'd ask your opinions! What should I read Next?

Review: CROSSED by Ally Condie

by Ally Condie
Hardcover, 367 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

Placement in the Pile: Middle of the Stack

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

I really wanted to love this one, because as you all know by now I loved MATCHED and I love Ally to death. I felt that there were some gems of greatness in this book, moments and information that I found fascinating and exciting, but it was surrounded by everything else that I unfortunately did not love.

One of my biggest issue was for a book that is supposed to be a journey of literally crossing over from one life to another there was a lot of lingering, leaving one location, and coming back. Leaving it again, and coming back. It felt more stagnant than it should have.

One of the more widespread criticisms I've read was one that was bugging me as well while I was reading. Ky is a narrator as well as Cassia, and their voices were too similar. They were beautifully written, well thought out etc. But when I had to flip back to the chapter heading to remember who was speaking, that was a problem.

All in all I think this book just suffered from middle book syndrome. Instead of being a journey in and of itself, it was a spacer to get the characters from point A to point B so that they can move on to the climax, but in and of itself, it didn't have much climax or story.

What I loved? Indie -- She's a great character and truly kept me guessing. Xander -- he isn't in the book much, but there is some big stuff revealed about him. I am liking where his story is going.

In the end. I am very much looking forward to the third book still. The way it left off I think that book is going to have a ton going on and be super interesting! I just wished this one had had more. It's worth reading to get you up to date for the next one.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What Happened to Me Last Year/What I Plan This Year!

Well, as many of you know the biggest thing that happened to me last year was having a baby. That resulted in the loss of desire/time/brain power to read as much and thus review as much. Which then resulted in losing a lot of my publisher contacts. The year being crazy also resulted in my co-bloggers being busy and not posting as much as before. So again less posts on here.

So that's why things have been slower on here on both the review and give away front.

But, here is my New Year's promise/resolution to you.

I am still here. I may take longer to read books, be giving away not as much, but I am still here. I still want to share my love of books and what I am reading with you. So if you'll stick with me, I will bring you reviews as they come.

I am doing a bit of writing and wanting to get back into that more. So I'd really like to add some of that experience to this blog as well. Bring on the conversations! When people actually comment it encourages me to be on here more and to be a better blogger for you. Just sayin. ;)

Thanks to those of you who do follow me regularly and have stuck it out with me this year. Happy New Year to you all!